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(Fairy Tale Reform School #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  5,535 ratings  ·  883 reviews
Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-ol
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Sourcebooks Young Readers
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Kaylee No. This book is apart of a series. The second book is called Charmed and the third book is going to coming out on February 2017.

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  5,535 ratings  ·  883 reviews

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I didn’t know middle grade books that aren’t centered on mystery could surprise me, but there are two twists in this that made me pause and mentally rewind what I’d just read to put the clues together.

But despite those two surprising revelations, Flunked is pretty predictable in the sense that from the very beginning we guess when bad events are going to unfold and we pretty much already point at a culprit.

And that’s okay. I never expect fairytales to mind-boggle me. But
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know what? I'm gonna say this once, and then, I'm gonna repeat it dozen times: This was the best fairytale retelling I have ever read. EVER!! Although, it is more of a continuation to well-known fairytales then an actuall retelling, but still..


The story follows a 12 years old Gilly who is a thief. Stealling from rich royalty is just what she does in order to bring food to her family's table
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


As you can read from the book description, Gilly is a thief, but she only does this to help her family get money to eat. She has five brothers and sisters and they live with their parents in a boot. Their father makes shoes but he's not getting much work right now. There is a reason but you have to read the book to find out why! :)

But...this time Gilly gets caught and this is her third offense!



BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


As you can read from the book description, Gilly is a thief, but she only does this to help her family get money to eat. She has five brothers and sisters and they live with their parents in a boot. Their father makes shoes but he's not getting much work right now. There is a reason but you have to read the book to find out why! :)

But...this time Gilly gets caught and this is her third offense!





All of the teachers, etc in the school are former villians.. mwahhhhhhhhh

I love the big bad wolf the best, his name is Professor Wolfington :)

They can do activities at the school like riding Pegasus and all kinds of cool stuff. I thinking riding a Pegasus would be the best :)

Gilly becomes friends with Kayla and Jax, they are good friends but they are not all what they seem. And... there is something amiss in the school. Something Wicked This Way Comes.. sorry, I couldn't help myself.

I thought this was a sweet little book and I look forward to reading the next book! Isn't the cover of this book beautiful!
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade, arc
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this book. It was an interesting idea, and it seemed cute to begin with. The execution left a lot to be desired. The characters felt more than a bit uneven to me. They weren't all that well developed, so their actions felt inconsistent, or contrary to what I knew about them. The balance between the darker aspects of the story, and the cuter ones felt off as well. It was almost like the aut
Fafa's Book Corner
Nov 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!


This book was recommended to me by my GR friend Irena! I was really looking forward to reading this book! I loved how the synopsis sounded and I am always on the hunt for a good fairytale retelling. Unfortunately I really did not like this book.

The book begins with an announcement about how Cinderella's stepmother founded the school and it's high success rates. You are then taken to Gilly wh
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This was a cute book, but a bit on the light-weight side. I read a fair amount of middle grade/juvenile fiction, so I am not disparaging all books for this age range. I feel this one lacked substance compared to others I've read. I did so much like the heroine's journey for Gilly. She had taken up stealing to help provide for her younger siblings since there wasn't enough food for them in the wake of her cobbler father's glass slipper invention being co-opted by fairy godmothers casting spells a ...more
3.5 Stars

Arc provided by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky through Netgalley

Release Date: March 3rd

If you're looking for a cute and funny middle grade book, look no further: Author Jen Calonita's story is bound to be a winner amongst its readers, whether they're younger or older.
The only necessary requisite?
One must have a sense of humour:

"(..)a room with a sign that says: Archery—Don’t lose an eye!
Announce yourself before entering."

3.5 Stars

Arc provided by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky through Netgalley

Release Date: March 3rd

If you're looking for a cute and funny middle grade book, look no further: Author Jen Calonita's story is bound to be a winner amongst its readers, whether they're younger or older.
The only necessary requisite?
One must have a sense of humour:

"(..)a room with a sign that says: Archery—Don’t lose an eye!
Announce yourself before entering."

With a feisty heroine, an interesting and fast paced plot, and great doses of humour, Flunked could be considered as the middle grade equivalent of Hex Hall, but instead of supernaturals, you have a special school run by fairy tale characters. Oh, and there's no romance..since the character is twelve years old.

“I was caught using fairy magic for personal gain, and my family got all bent out of shape about it.” She rolls her eyes. “Is there anything wrong with wanting the baker’s son to have a crush on you? I think not!”

My reaction: Baker's Son? Peeta! *.* (in my experience a book can never go wrong with Peeta comparisons)

Characters who were at times considered as the "bad guys", are now upstanding citizens determined to reform the *cough* morally dubious ways of other wrongdoers by any means possible.

There's counselling sessions _with the ex-evil queen_ and use and abuse of self help books ~runs screaming~.

There's Cinderella' and Snow White's stepmothers_ or as Gilly says: stepmonster _ , Wolf, as in: I ate your grandmother , Wolf, and the Sea Witch _ she has a big tank don't worry!_ as the famous teachers of this prestigious prison school.

"Name: Xavier Wolfington (formerly known as “the Wolf”)
Occupation:Professor of history at Fairy Tale Reform School.)
Likes: Peace and quiet, reading history books(..)
Dislikes: Talk of his former life (Never ever mention Granny!)

My reaction when I read about characters named "Wolf"...yes, my age is showing, lol

Unfortunately the Wolf in this story doesn't have all that much protagonist :/

As you can see, this has everything to work out..and it does! In a middle grade scale.

However, I can't help wishing that there had been more character development of the secondary characters, more interaction amongst all the characters...
Basically more development all around.

Also, there's quite a lot of tell instead of show in parts that would have been "awesome" if we could have "seen" them for ourselves.
Especially with the classes these kids have!

This story appears to have been written as a stand alone, however, I for one, wouldn't mind seeing more of these characters in a near future.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Can't say whether it was good or bad because it just didn't hold my interest enough to keep going.
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Flunked takes us on a not so typical fairy tale adventure.

Gillian is one of the children that live in the shoe. The fairy princesses in charge have enacted a magical shoe production, a production that has devastated Gillian's family financially. To make ends meet, Gilly has taken to a not so legal means to earning money…she is stealing. Because of her indiscretions she is sent to Fairy Tale Reform School.

Fairy Tale reform school is filled with the misfits, the students, and “reformed” villains, the teachers, of Enchantasia. Gillia
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
I would give this book a 3.5 and I'm sure most younger kids would adore this one. It's really cute and moves fast. Great characters and I loved the involvement of all the fairytale characters. I will most certainly check out the second book in this series.
*NOTE: This a review of the entire series.*

Even though I'm 27, every now and then I like to read a middle-grade novel. There's something magical about a good middle-grade book. I love getting swept up in a story of good versus evil, where the good guy always wins in the end. It just leaves you with a warm and cozy feeling. I was looking through the books on my Kindle and saw that I owned all of the Fairy Tale Reform School series, and decided to binge read it. I loved it. I flew through the ent
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:** My Thoughts Flunked-Sugar&Spice

Flunked is the first book in an adorable middle grade series called Fairy Tale Reform School. I really liked this book. It put a smile on my face the whole time I was reading it. Yes, it was a younger read than I was used to, but it was perfectly suited for it's middle grade audience. The heroine is Gilly and is around 12 or 13. She is caught stealinface
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know this was written for a younger audience and I tried to keep that in mind while reading it. It is a great idea for a story. However, with content like 'I planted my feet on the oriental rug beneath my feet' it was a tuff go. It also seemed a little choppy.
I almost always enjoy the magic school trope, and this was a cute story. It made me want to ride a Pegasus! 3.5 stars
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it

Flunked was and easy read for all ages. I enjoyed it a lot and the reader was great.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amusing, witty and full of magic - FLUNKED has a wonderful assortment of fairytales and their characters, most notably, their villains. A wonderful book that will make you think about what defines the good from the bad, giving second chances and who your true friends are.

Gilly is a 12 year old who has developed a Robin Hood complex due to her father's dying shoemaking business. She steals from the nobles in order to help put food in her siblings bellies and smiles on their faces. One
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, requested
I was first drawn into the cover for Flunked. I mean, look at how pretty it is! Plus, it's no secret that I have a deep-seeded love for all things fairy tale and fantasy. I knew I had to read this one, and I'm so glad I did.

Prepare to get swept into the land of storybook legends, where gnomes and fairies and humans live together in (general) harmony. The princesses that we all know and love rule over the kingdom, the commoners live in anything from cottages to giant boots (Just ask G
Amanda Thompson
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
You can read the original review on my blog.

How is it that fairy tale retellings can still be popping up all over the place? Haven't we had enough of those already? The answer is no, because authors like Jen Calonita keep finding ways to make the classics fresh again. Until they can't do that anymore, retellings are here to stay. (And I love it!)

The little twist that makes Flunked so much fun is The Fairy Tale Reform School. Known throughout Enchantasia as the place where all bad
Gilly comes from a poor family of shoe makers, they struggle just to have enough to even eat. With her sister’s upcoming birthday Gilly steals a comb for her thinking she made it home undetected. Looks like Gilly’s luck has run out she’s been caught for the third time. She’s forced to attend the Fairy Tale Reform school run by Flora the wicked step mother of Cinderella. For three months Gilly will spend her time at the school transforming from villain into a hero’s. The school is unlike anything ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't usually listen to books geared for middle school kids, but I'm so glad I took a chance on this one. It was just what I needed after finishing a dark YA novel. It's cleaver, funny, light, cute and charming. There were a few lessons learned and even a few twists too. The only problem I had was that the ending was really rushed and a little more character development would have been nice.

It is not a fairy tale retelling, but it is a story with familiar characters. All the evil, and now gui
Jody McGrath
More of a 3 and a 1/2 stars

Gilly Cobbler is a small time pick pocket, trying to help feed her family. Her father is a cobbler and they are the family that lives in the shoe and has so many kids they don't know what to do. Without her thievery, the family would starve. Unfortunately, Gilly gets caught 1 to many times and gets sent to Fairy Tale Reform School. While there, she catches on to a plot that could not only damage the hierarchy of the kingdom, but everyone in the kingdom too.
Helen (pagesandpeaches)
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this in 1 hour and 40 minutes. In one sitting! I really love the concept and characters in this story. It was just as good as Jen Calonita's other works and I definitely will continue with this series.
This book was absolutely adorable! As a huge fan of fairy tales, I loved this to pieces. I wouldn't go so far as to call this a fairy tale retelling, but if you love fairy tales, this is one fairy tale-inspired story that you don't want to miss! 

Even though it lacks some of the development present in books meant for older readers, I found this to be an incredibly FUN read that also touched on important topics like the importance of friendship, the downfalls of bullying, and the diffe
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This starts off a fractured Fairy Tale Series that has adventure, villians, heroes and friendships. 12 year old Gillian aka Gilly, has become a thief to support her family. Her father, a cobbler, has lost business since all glass slippers are now conjured up by Princess Ella's fairy godmother. After being caught numerous times, she is sent to FTRS (Fairy Tale Reform School). All the teachers and head mistress are reformed villians such as Flora (Cinderella's stepmother), Professor Wolfie (the Bi ...more
Nicole Pramik
Flunked introduces readers to Gilly Cobbler (who also serves as the principle narrator), a young thief whose pick-pocketing ways have finally caught up with her. While Gilly steals so she can sell said items and give the money to her poor family, her parents and the law see things differently. Hence, she is sent away to Fairy Tale Reform School, which is run by Cinderella's formally wicked stepmother, Flora. Flora, as it turns out, has seen the error of her ways and seeks to help re-educate other would ...more
Blabby Gabi
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! It’s written from Gilly’s hilarious point of view, and had me on the edge of my seat! The ending was fabulous! I love anything with fairytales and this was a wonderful mixup of them! Ballroom dancing taught by Ursula... History taught by Mr. Wolfe! And the Evil Stepmother as the Headmistress! I loved it!
I can’t wait I read the second book!
Personally I wish there had been a few more sparks between Gilly and Jax...
BTW- Jax’s actual identity is awesome!!!
(I won’t tel
Marit (Mary) de Vries
It was enjoyable, but not so much to continue the series. If I was 12 myself I probably would have
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting premise and intriguing world building, but it quickly descended into femininephobic “not like other girls” garbage.

I was reading it to see if it would be worth giving to my nieces. There’s no way I would give this to young girls this toxic message. 🚮
Amanda A
3.5 stars
E2 Maddie
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about a girl named Gilly. Her family is in the shoemaking business. Her father invented the glass slipper for Cinderella, and it was so amazing that her Fairy Godmother 'took over' Gillys fathers job and started to create glass slippers with just a poof of her wand. Ever since, Gillys family hasn't made very much money. So Gilly started to steal. And steal. And steal. Until she got so many warnings that she got sent off to fairytale reform school, which is a school where they turn ' ...more
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Characters, quizzes and more 2 2 Nov 06, 2019 07:00AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #191 - Flunked 1 3 Dec 11, 2017 11:31AM  
All About Fantasy!: Flunked 2 8 Apr 18, 2016 02:43PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita → Start Date: February 3rd, 2016 40 24 Feb 15, 2016 01:23PM  

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Hi Goodreads!
I'm Jen Calonita, a MG and YA author who loves what I do because it lets me connect with all of you (and no, I wasn't intending for that to rhyme!).

I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it was fourth grade when I put my "three wishes" for a genie down on paper. They were:
#1. Buy all the Cabbage Patch Kids in the world and give them away for free (because

Other books in the series

Fairy Tale Reform School (6 books)
  • Charmed (Fairy Tale Reform School, #2)
  • Tricked (Fairy Tale Reform School #3)
  • Switched (Fairy Tale Reform School #4)
  • Wished (Fairy Tale Reform School #5)
  • Cursed
“Weakness is not a characteristic you want to share with the world” 7 likes
“I thought cobblers just ate shoe leather" Jocelyn says as she and her shadow dance by us.
I've had enough of this one. "I never have, but if you want to try leather, I'm happy to shove some down your throat.”
More quotes…